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Cars & Motorcycles
Australian Muscle Car

Australian Muscle Car

Issue 114

Australian Muscle Car is a fresh, proudly Australian publication dedicated to preserving the legend of the unique ‘Australian made’ Ford vs Holden muscle car heritage. From 1960s classic Bathurst muscle to the super sophisticated Falcon and Commodore performance cars of the new millennium and everything in between.

Country:
Australia
Language:
English
Publisher:
Nextmedia Pty Ltd
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7 Issues

In this issue

4 min.
steve normoyle

The Holden Commodore is dead. Holden announced its passing at the end of last year (along with the Astra model), as it rebrands itself as an importer of SUVs and utes. Into the future, there will be no Holden sedans. Events at Holden today are in rather stark contrast to what was happening half a century ago. Back then, 1969, Holden celebrated an enormous achievement: the successful development and production of a home-grown V8 engine. The Holden 253 and 308 CID series V8 was not just any engine. This was a V8 drawn from a clean sheet of paper, designed specifically for the cars Holden planned to build in the late 1960s and beyond. But it also had to stack up favourably against the V8 engine which parent company GM was already…

4 min.
commodore no more

Holden, the brand that was integral to the creation of the uniquely Aussie muscle cars we all love, no longer sells traditional passenger vehicles. Instead, with the axing of the ZB Commodore and the BK Astra along with it, Holden offers only SUVs and a ute (for more on the death of the Commodore name and model, see our Commodore feature piece on page 44). The only place where you’ll still see new Commodores is on racetracks, where the Supercars version of the ZB will continue until the end of the 2021 season. There’s something very appropriate about the fact that the only ZB to survive the executioner’s axe is the racing version… the rear-wheel drive V8. Appropriate because it at least captures the drivetrain essence of the locally-built cars which built the…

1 min.
r-spec sell-out

If you’d been contemplating buying a Ford Mustang R-Spec then time to look elsewhere because all 500 have been sold even before the keys drop into the hand of the first eager owner. Pent up demand for a $99,980 520kW supercharged Mustang? You think! The R-Spec is a local co-development of Ford Australia, the blue oval’s tuning division Ford Performance and tuning guru Rob Herrod. It’s even being built by Herrod Performance on part of the production line at Broadmeadows formerly home to the Falcon and Territory. According to caradvice.com.au some Ford dealers sold out within 24 hours of informing their customers. One of Australia’s biggest Mustang dealers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “I sent the email out to my customer list when the car was unveiled, went to bed, and when I woke…

1 min.
lexus v8

Well, here’s a piece of good news for us V8 engine fans and it comes from an unlikely source. Lexus, the Toyota luxury spin-off that mostly specialises in selling conservative cars to a conservative audience is developing an all-new V8 engine. In an era where most brands are bailing out of bent eights, Lexus – via the Toyota Gazoo Racing factory motorsport operation – has confirmed its new twin-turbo design will debut in the 2020 Nurburgring 24-hour race before making its way into the road car line-up. Details are scarce, but a 4.0-litre 400kW starting point has been suggested. The engine, which will replace the current antiatom 5.0-litre V8, should flow into models such as the LS limo, the LC and RC F coupes and our favourite, the GS F sports sedan. V8,…

1 min.
bullitt auction

The January auctions of the most famous Ford Mustang in history and the first C8 Corvette off the production line have netted more than US$6 million. A 1968 Mustang GT fastback that featured in the Steve McQueen movie Bullitt, sold in Florida for $US3.74 million to an anonymous bidder. Days later in Arizona, legendary NASCAR team owner and car dealer Rick Hendrick paid US$3 million for a red Z51 Corvette. That’s $2.9405 million over the US$59,995 dealer price for the first mid-engined ‘vette! The Mustang is one of two ‘Highland Green’ GT fastbacks used during the filming of Bullitt and its legendary car chase. It’s the one McQueen himself tried to buy in 1977. The car had been in the same family for 46 years and undriven most of that time. It popped back…

1 min.
dodge

The on-again off-again plan to get the Dodge Charger and Challenger muscle-cars on-sale in Australia has hit a road-block. The local branch of the Dodge brand’s global parent, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, has parked investigations into the V8 rear-wheel drive duo while it develops a revitalisation plan for the business in Australia. FCA currently retails the Jeep, Chrysler, Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Fiat Professional brands in Australia. Only Chrysler – boosted by a NSW Highway Patrol deal for the 300C – was up in sales in 2019. There have been several attempts to get the Challenger/Charger to Australia over the years. Just to confuse things, in North America the Challenger is the two-door and the Charger the four-door. In Australia, whether the plan has been ex-factory production or local right-hand drive conversion by the Walkinshaw…